Below are 15 tips for maximizing food volume that will encourage all of our readers. Following these will help eliminate hunger and keep you satiated and not craving.
1 – High Volume/Low-Calorie Veggies
This tip is probably the most obvious for increasing food volume; however, it is one of the more effective ways to feel full.
Foods such as squash, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, etc. can be consumed in large amounts without using up a ton of an individual’s daily caloric allotment. These vegetables are also filled with fiber and digest slowly over a 3 hour period so that you stay full and satiated.
Also, by having a variety of veggies it will help ensure micronutrient needs are met and hydation, something often overlooked during weight loss. Make it your goal to get 10 different vegetables and 4 different colors each week.
2 – Low-Fat Protein Sources
The latest keto trend has you consuming high protein with lower carbs and high fat. During fat loss, failing to pay attention to the fat content of protein sources can easily eat up a limited daily fat allotment.
One way to increase food volume is to get protein from low-fat chicken, extra lean beef, fish, extra lean turkey (breast only), low-fat protein supplements, eggs, etc. This will save your fat for your daily olive oil intake.
3 – Don’t Drink Calories
One common way to miss out on potential food volume and limit the number of calories/macros available is drinking calories because in general drinking calories do not lead to feeling as full as eating them.
Remove drinks like soda, flavored water, alcohol, fruit juice, coffee with a lot of added cream/sugar and replace them with herbal or green tea. This will result in significantly more room to fit in food bulk and feel fuller overall.
4 – Make Fun Tasty Food
When food is low, the flavor can often get thrown out the window. However, there are numerous recipes that will fit into even low macro numbers and provide bulk. In addition, many recipes can be modified to become more macro-friendly.
Some examples of this include: cauliflower pizza crust, egg & veggie frittata, stuffed pepper soup, chicken meatballs, alfredo with veggie noodles, broccoli & cauliflower tots, chinese cauli fried rice, chicken curry stir fry, chicken soup / bone broth, zuccini alolio, instant pot pulled chicken, stuffed peppers, low-carb high-protein muffins, low-carb chili and many other recipes. Recipes and pictures of these can be found on our Instagram (@idealproteinLG).
By fitting in a couple of meals that taste good and provide bulk weekly it will make your weight loss journey enjoyable. Remember that you are going to continue these meals as at least 80% of your maintenance life-style program.
5 – Using Vegetables that Taste Like Fruit
Try new ways of cooking vegetables to give you that sweet fruit flavor and fill your smoothies with flavor. They also help to moisten low-carb backed goods.
6 – Cooking Substitutions
Many tasty recipes can be modified to be more macro friendly and fit in easier during periods where food is low.
- Some examples of cooking substitutions include:
- using extra lean cuts of meat
- using cauliflower puree in place of dairy
- using low-fat, low-sodium broth instead of oil
- using Stevia instead of equal or sweet & low
- light olive oil spray
There is a number of other cooking substitutions that can be made as well and there is generally a way to make almost any tasty recipe lower calorie and more macro friendly with some creativity.
7 – Foods That Take A While To Eat
Having low calorie, high water vegetables cut & prepared on will help when you feel like you just want to snack on something. Cucumber & celery sticks, mushrooms, radishes, etc. are all filled with fiber, water and nutrition and make great snacks. Remember that working on removing the snack responses to boredom and stress will be important for maintenance.
8 – Avoid Alcohol
When you are in ketosis, it is in your best interest to avoid alcohol. Drinking empty calories will keep you from reaching your goal and burning fat. It’s also very unhealthy for the liver to process alcohol, while you are in ketosis.
9 – Water
Consuming adequate water intake will help to feel fuller and thirst can be masked as hunger. A minimum of 64 to 96 oz of water daily will keep you hydrated and full. Enjoy unsweetened herbal and green teas as a part of your water consumption
10 – Food Distribution
An individual’s hunger pattern throughout the day can greatly differ from person to person. We suggest that you spread out your meals evenly throughout the day. It not only keeps your hunger in check, but it keeps you satisfied and not craving. If you struggle with night eating, making your larger meals during periods of time where you tend to be hungrier and this will help control hunger and allow you to stay consistent.
Ultimately, distributing food in a way that works best for an individual to keep hunger in check and stay consistent with their nutrition plan on a daily basis is going to be what is best because without consistency no approach will work.
11 – Noodle Substitutes
When carbs are low, noodles and noodle dishes are often hard to fit in because they chew up a good number carbs. Fortunately, there are a number of substitutes that can be used for noodles that will also increase food volume.
By using lower carb noodle substitutes such as zucchini noodles, spiralized veggies, green chilies, etc. you can enjoy noodles and noodle dishes while sparing carbs which can then be used to eat more volume.
12 – Minimize Eating Out
Eating out can use up a large chunk of daily calorie/macronutrient allotments. One alternative to eating out is making more macro-friendly versions of similar dishes at home.
The take-home point from all of this is that foods can be made more macro-friendly to increase food volume. Could progress be made while eating out regularly? Yes (assuming you are ordering correctly), however, an individual will likely have a lot more food volume by minimizing eating out.
13 – Calorie-Free Sauces and Flavorings
During weight loss, it is easy to fall into the trap of eating boring, bland food. Dressings, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayo, etc. contain carbs, calories & sugars, so food often ends up unflavored. However, by using things like mustard, calorie-free dressing & sauces, and any number of things from the Walden Farms line foods can be flavored without using a large portion of daily caloric allotment.
14 – Artificial Sweeteners
Certain artificial sweeteners can be consumed on a limited basis. We prefer Stevia (raw no additives) and a small amount of sucralose. In addition, they make a nice sugar substitute for those with a sweet tooth while losing weight.
Substituting sweeteners into baked goods such as protein pancakes, protein muffins, etc. can cut down on the carb and calorie content while providing a high-protein option.
Inclusion of artificially sweetened products (such as the Walden Farms line) can cut down on caloric intake as can subbing them for sugar in coffee.
Through its many diverse uses artificial sweetener can spare calories that can be used elsewhere to maximize food volume.
15 – Cauliflower
Cauliflower has to be one of the most versatile foods in existence and at 5g carb, 2g protein, and trace fat for 100g raw it easily fits into anyone’s caloric/macronutrient intake, even when food is low.
Aside from eating cauliflower raw, steamed, or in a stir-fry or casserole as most do, there is so much more that can be done with it.
For example, it can be used to make cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower alfredo sauce, and cauliflower rice. Using cauliflower as a substitution allows you to maximize food volume.